"There is no mortality benefit for that." How many times have you heard that? The implication is usually the same: that intervention is a waste of time. A smart, evidence-based clinician wouldn't bother with it. But, what does it actually mean if there is no proven mortality benefit?
Skillful use of BiPAP and high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) can avoid intubation and improve outcomes. However, there isn't comprehensive evidence about the nitty-gritty details of these techniques. In this post I will use my opinions to fill some gaps in the evidence. Noninvasive respiratory support remains more of an art than a science, perhaps a dark art at that.
Upon first reading the ATHOS-3 trial, I was pleasantly optimistic. Who wouldn't be interested in a shiny new vasopressor? The trial didn't prove much, but it was intriguing. However, it was alarming to hear that the FDA has approved angiotensin II for use based on it. Precious little evidence is available about this drug. With angiotensin II arriving at hospitals soon, some cautions are in order.